on 1 April 2009
Unlike the first reviewer, I only have words of praise for Hope for this CD.
If you enjoyed Nigel Kennedy's Four Seasons with English Chamber Orchestra (1989), this will sound like the same ensemble returning after a lunchbreak to play different concertos. Sharp edges, fullness of sound (Ms Mullova's RV234 lacks on the bass side of things), great dynamics.
I can't fault the selection of tracks and their order on the CD either. You can listen to the whole CD in one go with a feeling that they were meant to be played like this.
on 6 August 2011
This recording was a very nice surprise. Hope is a brilliant violinist, but the recording is not putting his violin in front of the music. His tone is a very interesting mix of romantic warmth and "modern" baroque influences. And through it all there is a strong musicianship.
Otter is singing one aria with an almost "non operatic" voice. Excellent!
on 24 January 2009
Daniel Hope says that part of his reason for making this album was to convince people that there is more to Vivaldi than the Four Seasons. A worthy and worthwhile ambition but, sadly, I am not sure his recording is a very good advertisement for the music.
Mr Hope plays a modern instrument as do the supporting members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. I am not sure if this is responsible for the thick textures and leaden footed feel of the music or if it is down to their playing style. Whichever, I miss the brillance of tone, clarity of sound, exuberance and excitement which distinguishes the best Baroque recordings. Viktoria Mullova, playing on gut strings and accompanied by the excellent Il Giardino Armonica, released an album of Vivaldi concertos in 2005 (Onyx 4001) which boasts all the virtues I mention as does Rachel Podger's 2003 recording of La Stravaganza with the Polish orchestra Atre dei Suonatori (Channel Classics CCS 19598).
Interestingly, the Mullova and Hope discs both include concerto RV234 'L'Inquietundine'. Listening to both, my impression was that Mr Hope's version was substantially longer but when I checked the timings I found he finished more than 10 seconds quicker! Despite this, his recording seems to lack the enrgy and sense of urgency which distinguishes Ms Mullova's.
In summary, a dull album. If you want the excitement of Vivaldi's music, you would do better to try one of the alternatives I have mentioned.